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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 05-01-10
Location: New Albany, IN
Default I need UDS heat.

This week I will be doing my second smoke ever on my UDS. On my first try I used an 8 lb bag of charcoal (lit with the minion method) and a few chunks of hickory. My temp stayed at a steady 195 and occasionally 210 after I had to open the lid and turn stuff. I ended up having to finish my butt and brisket off in the oven. I would really like to get my heat up to 235 to get a bEtter carmelization and breakdown of meat.
Before I result to drilling holes in the smoker is there anything else I can do to get my heat up and keep it there?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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What do you have for intake and exhaust ? Was the charcoal dry?
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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You're supposed to have exhaust holes in the lid of your UDS for specifically this purpose.
There's a schematic on this website for drilling out eight holes I believe it is in the lid of the UDS, which you can then cap off with several different things.
Some people use simple heavy duty foil, some people use marbles, some use ball berrings.. whatever you choose though, you do need to drill some exhaust holes to create a.. breeze? Not quite the word I'm looking for, but close.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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To create a draft, which is pretty important to have. Exhaust removes air and creates a draft which pulls in more air to allow burn. Intake and exhaust must be balanced and appropriately sized for the drum.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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You need to tell us the set up you have. Intake and exhaust. Is the chacoal basket 3 Inches from the bottom ?
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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Good advice all around. Temp problems in a UDS come down to one thing. Airflow.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
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Join Date: 03-23-09
Location: Chandler, AZ

Ya know, I have the opposite issue (it's not an issue) with my UDS. I put the Weber lid on it, I have 3 1" intakes, 2 with ball valves. I cooked a pork butt for 10 hours at 225 until the internal temp was 195, then 4 hours later I cooked 2 turkey breasts for 4.5 hours, again at 225. I did this with 1 20 lb bag of kingsford with a tiny bit of mesquite chips mixed in.
This beast ran for 36 hours at 225 with just a little airflow tweaking. I couldn't believe it.
Soooo, airflow ihas got to be the key!!!
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:51 AM   #8
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We need pics.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:10 AM   #9
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Sometimes mine runs too hot, I've had it above 300 while seasoning it, so I guess I have the opposite. Like all said above, AIRFLOW in and out. It'd be nice to see some pics like Norcoredneck suggested.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #10
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if the temp only goes up when you remove the lid, i would say you don't have enough air coming in. I'll assume you have some sort of exhaust in place; as long as you have a few square inches or more of exhaust area, it should be good.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:38 AM   #11
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Join Date: 06-02-10
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jumping in here as I just obtained my drum yesterday and plan on starting to build a UDS in the next couple of days.

intake, seems a lot of people use 4 3/4" holes. I was going to use a single 1 1/2' hole which has the same intake area.

I would like to use one exhaust. 2" okay? does the exhaust need to be bigger, smaller, or same size as the intake?

Does the exhuast need to be on top? Can it be on the side? I think this is a stupid question as it needs to be at hte highest point, correct? the reason I'm asking is because I was thinking about making a "chimmney" and don't want that on my lid

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:29 AM   #12
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The intake should be the main adjusting point for maintaining temps. You need adequate exhaust space, but intake is really the key and the ability to adjust it by small amounts. a 1.5" intake below the level of the firegrate with a ballcock type of valve for adjustment should be perfect. a 2"-4" chiminey should be great, even with no means to adjust it. A damper on the exhaust is veluable to shut down/reign in a fire that has gotten way too hot. The exhaust does not need to be in the lid, but should be above the level of the highest grate and the top of any food that will be cooked on that grate. I've found that for my uses these things have been what has worked well.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Norcoredneck View Post
We need pics.

Yup. Pics needed.

I agree with all. Sounds like airflow.
I recently changed my fire"box" from a sort of bucket about 10" diameter with holes drilled into it to a full 16" diameter "pan" with 6" tall sides all out of expanded metal. My ability to crank the temps up DRASTICALLY improved. I attributed this to the "breathability" of the coals. I had trouble getting the drum up above 300 before, and this past weekend, the thing was up to 400 with only 2 out of 3 lower vents open.

So, I agree......AIRFLOW.

Still......need pics.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #14
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Join Date: 05-01-10
Location: New Albany, IN

My uds has the lid of a weber grill so it has the standard opening on top. Outside of that it has 3 3/4 inch pipes that connect at the bottom with elbow joints and run alongside the smoker like smoke stacks. Working from an iPhone now. I'll get pics tomorrow.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LiveSimple View Post
Outside of that it has 3 3/4 inch pipes that connect at the bottom with elbow joints and run alongside the smoker like smoke stacks.
This may be part of the problem... you may have too much resistance to the airflow with the verticle parts of the intake pipe. Plus, if they are right next to the drum, they may be heating up and causing a reversal of airflow though the intake.

My suggestion, ditch everything but the nipple going into the drum on all but one intake (you can put a valve on this one). Then fire it up and see what happens. My suspision is that you'll see the temps you are looking for.

Good luck!
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